Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese is like Las Vegas for kids.

I'm guessing I'm not the first parent to say that. I expected a headache, but actually although it was certainly a noisy environment, it was really pretty nice. Granted, we went on a Tuesday evening instead of a Saturday, but it was quite the pleasant place to celebrate my little guy's sixth birthday. I also expected not much in the way of customer service and was wrong there as well. The staff at the Hickory Hollow location was wonderfully attentive and friendly.

A winning choice all around.

Now We Are Six

Zoo Face

I've got that wanderlust feeling again.

Amtrak's Empire Builder route appeals more and more to me. With my Peter Himmelman shirt on, Tom Waits playing on the stereo and a Bukowski book probably close at hand, this self-described dreamer dreams of following that red line across the northern part of the country, from east to west as detailed on the route map on Amtrak's webpage.

My only previous train ride on Amtrak was with my dad many years ago. It's tough at the moment for me to remember my age at the time. I remember us walking back to the last car and standing at the railing, looking below and watching the track move out and away from us in the dark. I think we were going to Savannah, Georgia, but I'm not sure. I only know that our destination was hardly what either of us expected. It was a depot in the most minimal possible way. It was a depot in that it was a structure and I believe that there was a phone. We were two people from Tennessee waiting in the dark for our ride, a relative who we called upon arriving.

That's hardly a train story at all and yet it's all of the poetry I need. I can't quite make it something wonderful on the page or on this screen, but that's just because I don't have the memory or vocabulary to share it here as it is in my head. Waits would make it a song, Buk would work it into a poem. I just have to tell you that that train trip from Nashville's Union Station to somewhere in the seemingly dark and desolate night of a city in maybe Georgia or possibly Florida shaped me. It didn't necessarily make me into this person who is often up typing in the dark at two a.m., but it is the trip that this person who is often up typing at this hour looks back on and remembers fondly.

So there is that. Wanderlust in the dark. Amtrak way back when with my dad. Other similar travels include a night train from Paris to Madrid on a high school trip in the late eighties. There was a Greyhound bus ride from Atlanta to Nashville in 2002. I sat next to a girl who was moving from somewhere in Florida to Chicago to start a new life. She was maybe twenty-two and "starting anew," as she said to me. She was leaving behind a guy who she said was no good and she was going to stay with a friend and get on the right track.

I guess I was "starting anew" as well. If memory serves, I was on that bus because I was returning from Atlanta having just proposed to my wife. She said yes and I'm very happy that she did. This so-called dreamer is a very lucky man as a result.

But back to the Empire Builder... That red line going from east to west does appeal.

Here's Holly Cole singing "Train Song" by Tom Waits.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The hair is in the genes.

Samantha Jane Beziat

Her great-grandfather Henry Beziat

Cash for my clunker? Scooter, please.

The "Cash for Clunkers" bill intrigues. Essentially, if you trade your high mileage vehicle for one whose mileage is four to ten miles per gallon better, you qualify for a voucher from $3,500 to $4,500 toward that new purchase.

I'm not sure what the mileage is on my old beater, but I'm sure that a scooter would be a major improvement and one of those aforementioned vouchers would buy a brand new one with money left over. Come on, government. Let me trade in my '92 Honda station wagon for something that will be more reliable for this father of four and get better mileage on our Tennessee roads.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

"Tennessee" dreams?

The 5-year-old sleeps on the couch next to me as I play "Tennessee" by The Joiners over and over again. I wonder if the words from the song are making their way into his dreams. Heavy rotation.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Those good folks, The Joiners, are offering up their latest song as a free download this weekend. Hurry and listen to their wonderful "Tennessee." It's really, really good.


I don't blog much anymore, so just go read what LeBlanc wrote in his latest post and pretend that I wrote it, too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Stuff Doesn't Work

Install firewall, get error message. Unable to connect to server. Go to settings to allow iTunes. No dice. Still no access. Uninstall firewall completely. Still unable to access iTunes Store. No podcasts for me.

Weird phantom account created. Locked out of standard account. After many hits and misses, create brand new Twitter account and start from scratch following folks and being followed. Now Twitter says it can't verify the email account associated with my Twitter account. I don't remember the password to it. After another day or so, Twitter will probably delete this and I'll have to start all over again. Ugh.

In less whiny news, I'm so captivated by the new Walter Mosley book. I don't have any password or server problems with it at all. It runs like a dream. You can borrow it from the library when I'm done with it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When the weather gets scary, I go outside with my camera and tripod.

The best bolts of lightning were unlike anything I had ever seen. They were short, quick, seemingly horizontal and oh so low. It was as if Emperor Palpatine was standing on top of my roof laying in wait for Jedi and Rebel scum.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Samantha and Paige

If I tweeted the old days.

In no particular order, here are some probable tweets from me in the 90s:

  • Going to Boardwalk Cafe tonight to see The Keep. Heidi is a great songwriter and singer, not to mention, quite the beauty.
  • Saw Himmelman at Ace of Clubs. Unreal. Out of this world! He got the crowd doing a conga line. Even this non-dancer.
  • This girl from Moto Photo is hitting on me I think. She's pretty, but has a boyfriend. Could be trouble; I'll see what happens.
  • Roommate and I know the truth. When life is tough, Private Stock tastes great. When life is great, skip the foulness of Private Stock.
  • Manager of Ace of Clubs put me on the permanent door list. Works for me. I love that place.
  • Working at a record store, I don't get paid much, but I sure do get a lot of free CDs and concert tickets. Works for me.
  • Wooten Brothers are awesome. Tiny Grapevine Cafe is packed this Wednesday night for them. I hope they play Wednesdays forever.
  • Why is the Nashville Zoo all the way out in Cheatham County? Jeez!
  • Forgot to pay for my sandwich at Metro Deli on Nolensville Road again. Gotta go back and pay Tom. Cool dude.
  • Went to a girl's house and we almost talked each other into a late night drive to Montreat, N.C. Maybe we should have just done it.
  • I've got such a good circle of friends. I hope we never drift apart. I doubt we will.
  • Record store shoppers can be kind of insane. That's okay, so can the staff.
  • Drivin n' Cryin at the Bijou in Knoxville. Rawk!
Back to the present. I might do this again soon. 

Thursday, June 04, 2009

"Young At Heart"

Samantha and I have a habit of dancing to this each morning.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Some Links

I love it when my friends go to New York and take pictures.

Meet my wife. She used to blog a bit more frequently than she has lately. Her first post since the 4th of May is here.

Corey of the Webbspun Ideas blog is now on Twitter. See?

The Concert Blast! guys saw Ratt at the Wildhorse Saloon. Read their review here.

I always dig Leesa's photos so much.

Have a nice night.

Photo 217

2,316 posts?

That's a lot of stuff about me that I've put out there on the Internet. Thanks for reading and caring and continuing to read and care. You guys are pretty wonderful people and I'm glad I know you.


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Monday, June 01, 2009

The Middle Kids

Hot Day In Nashville

Of course I would shave my head the day before the hottest day in Nashville since September of last year where I would spend the entire day outside underneath the hot sun. I've got a bit of a burn on my noggin. Maybe I should have worn a hat.

In Which I Thank A Man Called Jeffraham

A month or so ago, my good friend Jeffraham entered a contest for a free scooter with the intention to hand the groovy prize over to me should he win. He and I promoted it as well as a couple of blogger dudes could, but in the end it looks like he (we) came in no higher than eighth place. That's the bad news. The good news is that it was an awesome gesture on his part and I was humbled from day one to day now.

I've had a rough go of it financially this past year and so has Jeff. (And so have so many of our friends. Jeez!) Hopefully, we'll all find ourselves on the upswing soon enough and be able to afford things like better transportation, meetups with friends, and, um, rent and groceries and stuff. Anyway, I just wanted to make mention of how much I appreciated what Jeff did for me in regards to the scooter contest. Every time he linked to the site asking people to vote, I was reminded of the friendship I have among all of these bloggers. I promise that if and when I find my niche and find that nice mix of free time and disposable income, I'll attend every get-together that invites me.

Just Another Bald Guy

So I shaved my head again. When the heat of summer presents itself each year, I can't resist the temptation to take the clippers to my head and shear away. The kids got a kick out of helping out this morning. Joshua held the mirror and Ari told me I looked good. Paige inspected me afterward and touched up the parts that I had missed.

Most people don't like my look when I do this, but I actually got a couple of compliments today. At least I'm taking them as compliments since I was compared to movie stars. In both cases, it's not so much that I really looked like said stars, but that a quick glimpse brought those stars to mind. Good enough for me.

A coworker said that as I turned toward him, he thought of Tim Olyphant in Live Free or Die Hard. A movie star? Usually folks just worry for me that the hair won't grow back. Very cool.

When I got home from work and was resting on the couch, my wife turned at one point and her glimpse of me reminded her of Bruce Willis. (Shall I link to Live Free or Die Hard again?) While I don't think I am nearly as buff as Bruce, I can turn a wicked smirk. I think so anyway.

Here's me, sporting my summer cut. I'll try to keep it like this for a month or two and see how many other movie stars I get compared to. Should I hire an agent to help me make millions? I work nights, but am available for modeling and acting gigs in the mornings.

It's All Good